Digital television transition possibly delayed...

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dstol62
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Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby dstol62 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:36 pm

As reported on channel3000.com, the Senate voted to delay the transition to "all digital reception" until June 12th. Now the House has to vote, and will hopefully follow suit. The only ones that seemed happy about this were the national networks and local tv news stations, who were happily chirping about how GREAT it is going to be. Personally, I think most people are more concerned about whether they will have a job six months from now. My understanding is that the main motivation had to do with the selling of additional bandwidth for profit. Does anyone know the whole story behind this incessant hype?

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby dstol62 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:50 pm

Never mind...I found this answer in an article from huffingtonpost.com:


In 2005, Congress required broadcasters to switch from analog to digital signals, which are more efficient, to free up valuable chunks of wireless spectrum to be used for commercial wireless services and interoperable emergency-response networks.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby dstol62 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:14 am

Now that the delay is back on, I thought of a loophole with this new system. In the soon to be old days of analog television, if there is a power outage due to a storm or other anomaly, people could watch a battery powered television. Now it will be radio or nothing under those circumstances. This should be of some concern to people living in the hurricane or tornado prone areas.

The government had better have a better answer than a collective shrug.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:15 am

It's my guess the technology exists to create a battery powered television that has an HD tuner.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:30 am


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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby ShaneDog » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:43 pm

Delaying it any longer is stupid. People have had 5-10 years to get their shit together.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby aaronetc » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:02 pm

dstol62 wrote:The government had better have a better answer than a collective shrug.


Presumably the answer is, "We don't assume television will be a viable way to get information out to people in the event of an outage, because who the hell owns a battery-powered TV?" Seriously, isn't it likely there are more Internet-enabled cellphones than battery-powered TVs currently owned and in working condition?

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:09 pm

I think it's likely there are more people with internet enabled toaster ovens than portable TV's.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby Ned Flanders » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:18 pm

I don't remember the gov't financing my switch from 8-tracks to cassettes and from albums to cds. Hmmm.....

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:19 pm

For once I agree with Ned. Get this transition over with already. If you haven't gotten your hand out converter by now then tough titty. Right Ned?

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby Ned Flanders » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:20 pm

Right. Unless there's a constitutional right to watch TV that has yet to be "discovered".

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby madmatt77 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:41 pm

This is all so ridiculous. For the last 2 years reminders to upgrade your t.v. or buy a digital converter have been aired every 10 minutes on every t.v. station. I've never seen such a coordinated effort to get a message out to the public before. It's a shame that this aggressive public awareness campaign is only being used for updating a form of entertainment, instead of educating about something more useful.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby dstol62 » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:15 pm

madmatt77 wrote:This is all so ridiculous. For the last 2 years reminders to upgrade your t.v. or buy a digital converter have been aired every 10 minutes on every t.v. station. I've never seen such a coordinated effort to get a message out to the public before. It's a shame that this aggressive public awareness campaign is only being used for updating a form of entertainment, instead of educating about something more useful.



Yes, the local media outlets have not been subtle about their affiliation with this bill (one last byproduct of the Bush administration), which carries a pro-corporate and anti consumer subtext. I'd sure like to know why the media doesn't want to give people the full story about who really profits in this charade.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby wallrock » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:20 pm

I believe the main reason most broadcasters and local media outlets are against the delayed transition and aren't playing along is that it will cost them some significant money to broadcast both signals beyond next week's original cut-off date, something that hadn't been budgeted for.

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Re: Digital television transition possibly delayed...

Postby ConstantTraveler » Thu Feb 12, 2009 4:21 pm

Wallrock, you're dead on. People forget that stations are basically paying double in terms of maintenance and electricty to keep the two signals running. So why would a station, as it starts to budget for future quarters, even think about having to pay those extra costs?

I don't know if people realize it, but all the local stations are cash strapped in a big way. If it seems like that reporter, anchor, radio traffic reporter, DJ isn't there anymore in the past couple months, it's because of the economy. The DTV switch was one way that stations could finally find a way to save money without it affecting their employees.

As for the consumers, as has been pointed out by many, people had years upon years to get ready. More importantly... delaying the switch would at best, annoy people for another 4 months with the endless DTV deadline promos, at worst it would confuse people...

At 100 days before Feb 17, everyone started countdowns about x-number of days before the switch. Then when there were about 10 days left... "Oh, you know what, forget about that countdown, we've been messing with your head... it's actually another 120 or so days away."

And yes, the initial legislation on this was during the Clinton Administration. People looking to blame Republicans on this one are barking up the wrong tree. Not looking for a political flamewar here, but I do believe in accuracy.

This isn't a case of media not being kind to the consumer. By in large, media educated the public, and the vast vast majority of consumers responded.

And don't forget, even in the bill Obama signed for the June 12th deadline, it gives stations the option to switch earlier if they want. So it's not like these stations are defying the wishes of the President. They're following the letter of the law. If the President and Congress wanted to postpone everyone until June 12, then they should have written it that way. They allowed these exceptions, probably because they understood all the considerations from above.


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